Spark and Inspire Question #2: How Do you Define Success in Business?

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Success in business is defined as…

"When we are enthusiastic we are intoxicated with passion
rooted in our true selves and it flows into all we do."

Linda Saccoccio

For the first couple of years of my online business I wanted so much to
really make all the money that people seemed to allude to. More
marketing, more connecting, constant blogging, relisting on etsy, social
media at all hours of the day and night. Oh! And make sure you are near
your email just in case that huge wholesale order comes in…

After months and months of questioning my work ethic (maybe I was not
committed enough) and my pricing structure (are my prices too high?), I
finally stopped. I had to take a good hard look at the reality: the business
was running me.

I had to admit that I felt this pressure ALL THE TIME about this business
which at best was making a supplemental income for the hours of labor I
was putting into it. Here are some things that helped me to redefine my
definition of success:

1. I began logging EXACTLY how much time I was spending in each area of
my business and correlating that with sales
2. I got REAL about my accounting for my business.
3. I took a break for about 30 days where I created NOTHING.
Today I define success in business as:
The ability to be able to create what I love in a manner that inspires me and
thus flows into the quality and design of my products and feeds not just my
pocketbook but my soul.

Nolwenn Petitbois:

Success in business, for me, is defined as being able to be recognized as
being an artist both by my peers AND by myself.

Success in business is having happy customers that come back and order
something else and talk positively about you and what you do.

Jan Avellana:

Hmmm…I’d say that I define “success in business” as reaching your
financial goals in a way that comfortably sustains the business, while
engaging in meaningful work that is aligned with your personal values and
goals. “Success in business” also means growing your business at a rate
that allows you to maintain your sanity and avoids burnout.

As indie artists, so many times we wear all of the hats and play all of the
important business roles from accountant to marketing specialist to artist,
so having a successful business also means having enough down time to
just be a normal human-being instead of having to work around the clock
to get it all done.

Sonya McCllough:

Success in business to me is defined as my life (offline & online) & my
business both reflect a single objective which is to inspire others with
words & images.

Jean Simrose:

Success in business for me is being financially secure while I’m doing
something I love. I need to feel like I’m appreciated and that I inspire
others. Art and crafts have always been a way for me to connect with

When I worked as a mental health social worker I facilitated a support
group for my clients to teach them ways to relax. I taught them different
art projects; I watched them express themselves creatively and become
passionate about something. It gave me a sense of accomplishment in my

Unfortunately working in the mental health field is very stressful in other
ways and causes a lot of social workers to “burn out”. Before I did that I
decided to pursue other avenues to get what I needed to feel successful. I
want to be sought after for my jewelry, to be respected in the industry and
be inspired and feel fulfilled by my work. I also need to feel as though I am
contributing in some small way and teaching others helps me to do that. I
have a long way to go to accomplish my goals but I’m enjoying the journey!

Alease M. McClenningham:

A business that showcases your true love. And you are happy working,
managing and growing the business.

Kelly Thiel:

I’ve recently been able to narrow down my definition of success a bit more.
It used to be something akin to “Make Cool Stuff”. Not so much anymore.
Now that I have two young daughters, I am interested in generating
income to use for the education of these two girls. I have recently decided
that I will be “successful” if I can do several things: Generate enough
money with my art for the ‘education fund’, exhibit with a certain caliber of
galleries, and receive some peer recognition. The thought of these things
keeps me awake some nights. But I think that's a good thing

Leanne Wargowsky:

I'd love to say that success in business has only to do with following your
dreams and nothing to do with maintaining financial independence while
doing it . . . but I wouldn't be honest saying that. In a perfect world; I
would be able to sit in a studio from sun up to sun down, painting my heart
away, as little blue birds flew in and out of my house, tending to the dishes,
laundry and children. Of course, money would grow on the trees outside of
my little studio and I would simply GIVE my art away to the hundreds lined
up outside my door, as "selling" would be of no concern.

However, life is not always perfect. So, to my realistic creative soul, success
in business is being true to my artistic thoughts and ideas, being able to
produce and create my work, and selling my art to others in a manner that
will offer greater financial stability to my family and me. All while
maintaining a healthy balance between my life and my art. That, to me,
would be success.

Stephanie Amos:

I’ve been pondering how to end this statement for days. And what I have
concluded is that my own personal success in business is defined by
customer satisfaction and my own contentment with the creativeness that
I have shared.

Let me explain: If we don’t care about our customer’s happiness, then why
are we in business? I’m a people pleaser by nature anyways, so it only
makes sense that this idea carries over while selling my work. This concept
helps me to strive for excellence in creating my art and in working with my

I also mentioned that my own satisfaction is also important to the success
of my own personal business. I believe that if you’re not happy with the art
you have created, it will reflect in how you present the piece. For example,
if I created a painting that I absolutely love, it will show in how I present it
to people. My enthusiasm will shine through and others may also find the
piece intriguing. But if I created a painting that I really didn’t care for, that
feeling would carry on with that piece as well, making it more difficult for
me to sell because I don’t even like it, and so why would someone else?

Kelly Warren:

I think this is a very interesting topic, and I think it all depends on your
goals and your outlook. For me, my art business is not my main source of

I have a pretty demanding full-time career in higher education on top of my
art. So for me, success in my art business is simply finding the time to put a
little bit of me out into the world for others to enjoy.

Would I love to be able to “quit the day job” and devote more time to my
art? Absolutely, but I know that’s simply not a possible reality at this point
in my life. So maybe for me, success in business is defined as knowing what
my limitations are (time!) and embracing them rather than fighting them.
Fighting them takes an awful lot of energy that could be better spent on
enjoying the process instead.


Success in business is defined as….

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